Anyone who flies has heard the Flight Attendant’s instruct passengers with this safety information: “In the event of an emergency and the oxygen masks deploy, put your oxygen mask on first, then assist others”.
I was at a meeting yesterday – all women who are Presidents of their companies (WPO) , and one of them made mention of this drill. What a great thought to start the New Year, and what a perfect topic for a short blog! If we don’t take care of ourselves first, how can we possibly take care of others? Or run our businesses? Or be open and aware to what our kids or family members need?
As a young mother, I used to question these instructions. What do you mean take care of myself first before taking care of my young child, who couldn’t possibly know how to put on her own oxygen mask!? Surely, I could hold my breath long enough to get her needs taken care of before helping myself. And who is going to need to do this anyway? Planes don’t really deploy oxygen masks, do they?
Yesterday was one of those “aha!” moments for me. What started as a 3-hour meeting turned quickly into a new way of thinking, just by listening to an off-hand comment by one of my peers. If I want to be the leader I strive to be I need to be the one putting my oxygen mask on first. By attending this monthly WPO meeting, that’s exactly what I did.